Industry

Groupon reports ‘record quarter’ while reports suggest Facebook will raise its expectations on IPO

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Groupon’s share price rose last night as the online daily deals company reported a “record quarter.”

The company unveiled a 140% rise in active customers to 36.9m in the three months to the end of March and revenues up by 89% to $559.3m (£348.05m) from $295.5m (£183.9m) in the same period last year. At the same time net losses narrowed to $11.7m (£7.3m) the company said as it released its first-quarter results.

That compares to a loss of $146.5m (£91.2m) in the same period last year, before Groupon floated on the market.

More than 100,000 merchants ran deals on the website in the first quarter, and more than half of those deals were from companies who had previously used Groupon. The company also said it expected second quarter revenues to be up by between 40% and 50% on last year, at between $550m (£3422m) and $590m (£367.1m). Shares lifted 18.54% to $11.735 (£7.30) on the news.

Groupon chief executive Andrew Mason said: “We are pleased to report a record quarter that demonstrates our progress in unlocking the opportunity in local commerce for merchants and customers worldwide.” Innovations such as its SmartDeals technology helped to make deals more relevant to individual users.

Groupon floated on the Nasdaq in November at an initial price of $20 (£12.44) a share. It hit problems in March when a restatement of its quarterly financial results showed greater losses than previously reported, because it paid out more refunds than expected.

The news came as reports said Facebook would raise its price range ahead of its own stockmarket flotation. Shares are now expected to go on sale for between $34 (£21.16) and $38 (£23.64), higher than the $28-$35 previously suggested. Strong demand was said to be behind the rise, reported today in The Guardian.

The move would mean more than $12bn (£7.4bn) is raised by the offering, in which 12.3% of Facebook shares will be sold, potentially valuing it at $93bn-$104bn (£57.9bn-£64.7bn).